"Is that Becky with the good hair?" I mean, she's got to be with us, somewhere.
Which reminds me (that's all I was going to write but I thought of something) Lemonade is a painful album to hear (and sometimes, to watch) - emotionally and on an artistic level, because I don't enjoy the songs on this album, at all - even if it does have this, "OK, maybe I won't go stomping out on yo' ass" half-assed, sort-of forgiving denouement, which I understand most people find uplifting and take to be a sign that Beyonce's brought the album to a close by deciding to overlook certain things. Okay.
I can't figure out if the album's autobiographical, and while I can't cop to caring, I don't like knowing anyone's been cheated on - least of all someone like her, since she hasn't had a lot of relationships to build up what I might call a "hard-ass" against any man's weaker moments. And while I'm tempted to say she has my sympathy if the album's indeed comprised of recent or current goings-on, I can't offer it freely knowing she's airing their dirty laundry while still married. I thought marriage (any tight, close relationship, really) should be a private institution? What happened to that?
I've often tried to put myself in her husband's shoes but I can't, and I know I can't, because if I were him (and if, I suppose, I'd cheated on her) and she could talk this much shit while we were still married I'd divorce her, or ask her to divorce me if she's that upset she feels she must air our private lives out in what I consider humiliating fashion. She's sort of boxed him in, because he can only do one of two things: admit what she's accusing him of or deny it and be called a liar (or actually be a liar: we don't know what went on, nor what's true or false; she might not know, either).
To his credit, he's chosen not to confirm or deny, but that takes a degree of self-control I'm not sure I could muster nor maintain for any length of time.
I've tried to put myself in her shoes, as well, because getting cheated on is like a thousand fires burning in your mind's eye and heart and soul at once, and while they do die down eventually (especially if you leave the person responsible) it can be a hard thing to bear. As a woman, I think the first thing that strikes most of us is "someone was better than me". They're not (or won't be, not in the long run) but that's for time to tell; for now, we feel like somehow we've been outdone.
But I've had no luck in her shoes, either, because if my husband cheated I'd leave his ass and save the album for after the divorce - not one word would come out before. Not because I'd be embarrassed - as the cheated-upon party, I'd have the moral high ground and can say from experience that boy, is it beautiful up there - I'd wait only to save face for the other person. I can imagine people all up in my comment section now saying, "Oh, screw saving his face, how about mine, being cheated on is awful" but that's not how I look at it.
The saying "revenge is best served cold" applies. If there's something wrong in your relationship, end it, then muckrake all you want. Until then, if you're going to stay together, at least act like you want to. Keep the problem(s) to yourselves/close friends/close family as much as possible or practical (or safe to do so; I am, I must be clear, not suggesting anyone in an abusive relationship stay mum - speak up when you must, tell the world - but cheating can happen both with or without other, separate forms of abuse going on).
Conjuring any real-world scenario imaginable - without dropping acid to stretch my mind beyond its current limits - I'm still stuck at: "I think I'd leave her for talking if I was the cheater", or else "I think I'd leave him for actually cheating", but I can't identify with her making this album, because I can't imagine making this album - not if I was in the relationship being described - which also cuts into any possible enjoyment I might have gotten out of it.
When, with every picture of "good hair" I try to evoke in my mind's eye, I can hear myself thinking, "I could not do this; I could not make an album like this, not while I was still married" what I wind up doing is getting upset that someone - anyone - could turn a heartbreaking situation, if it's indeed that, into stuff they can sell. "Oh, here's another album on Tidal. It happens to be about my husband knifing me up the back by seeing another woman. Enjoy!" That's just tacky. I don't see it helping, either, unless he gets off on someone with Beyonce's reach and power tattle-tailing every time he, uh, I don't know, farts sideways. What sort of relationship is that?
But you can't assume a word she says - or sings - is true. I wouldn't put it past her - super-duperstar, biggest of big deals - to make a deal with her husband after the equally tacky Solange swinging in an elevator business to sort of *wink-wink, nod-nod* stop giving interviews and once the silence went on long enough to stew the public in its own juices, to drop this album with his full blessing. After all the speculation they've endured it's a sure bet to make her - them, in fact - a lot of money. This album will keep their relationship - a now-separate entity that should probably be incorporated - in the press for a long time, which, if nothing else, guarantees some kind of baseline income for them well into their golden years.
Yes, I'm that cynical. You think Beyonce isn't? She might be delivering these songs from a place of tears and truth and hope unfurling like buds on a tender sapling deep within her sunshiney-bright ice-cold heart, but even if it's all made up the buzz it's caused will keep them rollin' in da Benjis far into their foreseeable future. Well done, if you ask me.
To be fair and balanced, I'll add there are other takes as to what the real situation is (if there is or ever was any). Some people think, for example, that Beyonce's singing about her father, who reportedly was a skirt chaser. I don't believe it, but I'll hold onto a shred of doubt; you never know. You can be cheated upon and have a dad who cheated. I did. These are not mutually exclusive occurrences. So which one of them are you going to write about? Both? Just one or the other? I wouldn't write an album about my dad. There's not enough material, for one thing. Revenge still tastes best served cold, for another - so cold, icicles might form around the universe before I say another word about it.